Vaccine for All: City Launches ‘NYC Vaccine Referral Bonus’ Program to Encourage Vaccination

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NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today launched the ‘NYC Vaccine Referral Bonus’ program to encourage more New Yorkers to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The City will work with community-based organizations to turn out their neighbors, awarding  $100 for each referral that leads an individual receiving their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a City-run site.

“With summer upon us, we all want to bring back the city we love. The best way for New Yorkers to do that is to get vaccinated,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Through the NYC Referral Bonus program, we’re empowering New Yorkers in every neighborhood to be ambassadors for our city’s comeback by encouraging their friends and loved ones to get vaccinated.”

“The efforts of local, community-based and faith-based organizations have proven to be critical during the COVID-19 pandemic, and especially important as we continue to engage New Yorkers in vaccinations,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Melanie Hartzog. “The ‘NYC Vaccine Referral Bonus’ program will further reward these organizations that have worked tirelessly during this pandemic to make sure families and communities have the necessary support services to stay safe and continue to recover. Vaccines are a critical part of that long-term recovery.

The City will focus its outreach efforts on community and faith-based organizations, including NYCHA tenant associations and local mutual aid groups. The ‘NYC Vaccine Referral Bonus’ program will rely on the support of organizations that have already exhibited leadership during the City’s vaccination efforts, as well as the recruitment of other organizations and leaders through online signup and coaching.

Organizations can begin to sign-up for the program this Wednesday on NYC.gov/VaccineReferralBonus by providing an overview of their experience serving their local communities for the City’s review. Upon approval, organizations will be added to the City’s vax4nyc.nyc.gov platform for City-run vaccination sites. When an individual makes an appointment ahead of time or as a walkup, they will be able to choose which community organization referred them to get vaccinated. Once they receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the referral organization will be credited $100. Organizations can earn up to $20,000 each and payments will be made after the conclusion of the program.

“Vaccination is about the health of individuals and communities,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. “Social networks are a critical component to reaching New Yorkers and this effort recognizes that a successful campaign depends on good neighbors.”

“Our resident associations and tenant leaders have been an indispensable network in the Authority’s efforts to communicate the importance of getting the COVID-19 vaccine,” said NYCHA EVP for Community Engagement and Partnerships Sideya Sherman and Executive Director, Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity. “We welcome this commitment from the Mayor’s Office, which will enable us to continue this vital work.”

“We’re incredibly grateful for the hard work of faith and community leaders during the pandemic to keep our communities safe. We are excited about continuing to support these efforts with the Good Neighbor program, as we know what a powerful voice these leaders have in fostering education and change in New York City, and how essential the vaccine is in moving our city forward,” said the Center for Faith and Community Partnerships.

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